ANR Programme 2009-2012
|A Joint Programme on Justice and Governance in India and South Asia
(Hosted by Centre for Himalayan Studies)
The project will be interdisciplinary and multi-focused: issues which are at the core of up-to-date nationwide debates in different disciplines such as political science, geography or law, will be studied via culturally contextualised judiciary cases and by using an ethnographic or/and historical approach.
Although recent work on South Asia has started to take into account Court judgements (especially from the Supreme Court) which may have repercussions on different aspects of contemporary Indian society, these studies have mainly focused on the content of the judicial decision and on the implications that this decision could have from a political science, juridical, sociological or religious perspective. What tends to be neglected is the form in which these judgments have been drawn up from a linguistic and 'discursive' point of view, as well as the complex and long-term judiciary story of the case. This includes a multitude of professional and non professional actors, of official and non official interactions, and has produced a number of legal (written) documents and contrasted (oral) narratives.
The project relies on the assumption that the study of these judiciary cases in all their multifaceted complexity will provide a pertinent and original angle from which to access some issues of contemporary globalising India, as well as a variety of frameworks where the interactions between different forms of authority - state and local society - may be observed at work. More specifically, the logic of judiciary cases may reveal a conflict between two alternative "methods of reasoning", one based on social links, economic interests, feelings, conflicts or loyalties, and the other based and relying on legal reasoning and judicial proceedings.